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BANGKOK 10 December 2018 15:14
Jingthing

Reverse culture shock tips if you haven't lived in the U.S. for a really long time

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I'm strongly leaning towards repatriating to the U.S.A.

As I've lived abroad for so many YEARS with very few trips back there during that time, I'm aware that lots of things have changed about living there.

I have some ideas, but either for serious or for fun, I'd like to invite people who think they might now about this, to make some comments.

Ideally it would from people who have lived abroad for many years and returned to live in the U.S. during the last few years.

I think people who have never really left would be less sensitive to the changes, as they would have happened so gradually.

Anyway, I'll start with some of things I think I know about.

-- Obamacare. You are required to have health insurance.

-- Cash. It's becoming less common to use cash for everyday transactions. Using cash at some places reveals you to be an Old Fogey.

-- Video entertainment. Streaming. I know how it goes in Thailand but not fully clear on what most U.S. people are doing.

-- Uber, etc. for rides and Uber-esque things for most everything else! "Sharing economy" code for the new poverty.

-- Young adults living at home FOR MUCH LONGER

-- Trump. Be careful about expressing pro or con Trump opinions. Feel out the crowd!

Edited by Jingthing

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We spent 3 months in the US in 2014, then 6 months in 2015. That after being here for 19 years with only occasional shorter trips back to the US. A few of our observations:

We spent many 10's of thousands of dollars over those 2 vacations........90++% of it on credit cards. It's just so much easier than cash....because to get cash, you have to either go to a bank or to an ATM. With a credit card, you charge, you pay on line, you get a monthly statement showing all your expenses. Charge cards are only bad for people who can't pay their full balance each month.

Get reacquainted with tipping. If you eat out a lot (not fast food), those tips can add up quickly.

You'll be pumping your own gas again!

Those fruits and veggies and meats only look cheap because they're sold by the pound.

Yes, you can buy clothes cheaper in the US than in Thailand.

I have mixed feelings about Thai driving.....it's horrible....but it makes me a more defensive driver. I've seen plenty of horrible accidents on the big highways back in the US.

I'll think of more later

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Yes, even on my visits I noticed restaurant food had gone up a LOT, seemingly relatively more than other things, and of course the U.S. tipping culture (most extreme in the world) is a big adjustment after Thailand.

I don't drive in Thailand but was already used to pumping gas in the U.S. for decades.

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Little is better in America now than Thailand. There are greedy,lying,rude,incompetent self absorbed idiots all over the planet.

Did I leave anything out?

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Little is better in America now than Thailand. There are greedy,lying,rude,incompetent self absorbed idiots all over the planet.

Did I leave anything out?

The request was about reverse culture shock impressions. Hopefully of some specificity.

The topic has nothing to do with arguments of whether Thailand is better than the USA or vice versa.

Sensible people know there are pros and cons in living anywhere, and also there are built in advantages to living in your home country (no visas needed).

Decisions to expatriate or repatriate are made for all kinds of personal reasons.

Edited by Jingthing

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Oh well.facepalm.gif

Seems another DUD thread in the making where people don't even bother to read the OP.

Anyway, thanks to kokesaat for one on topic and sincere reply.

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OH well JT I'll be going to US of A next month for 3 weeks and I'll let you know of anything I encounter. One thing for me to remember is, when I check out at the Publix or Walmart, to not thank the the cashier in Thai.

Edited by JLCrab
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I think that the same is true for all of us who have been living in LOS for some time, regardless of our country of origin.

In my case I have progressively observed changes in life in the UK which are definitely not for the better from my perspective on various trips back home since moving out here 8 years ago - to the extent that I now feel a complete stranger in my home country whenever I go there. And the prospect of having to readjust myself to UK culture were I to move back there permanently is one which, quite frankly, I dread.

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Well, this thread isn't about my personal decision to repatriate.

So I'm not going to go in detail about that. These factors are personally specific.

I've done my personal pro and con calculation about that, and my conclusion is that my long term survivability is better in the U.S. even though it would mean taking a quality of life hit in a number of ways but also some other things will be better.

I recognize the readjustment period would be painful and risky. But I want to avoid being the type of case NancyL sees in Chiang Mai ... people who should have left earlier if they could have and had a realistic path towards making that happen, and I can and I do.

I already know very well about the BIG PICTURE longer term differences between living in both countries.

For example in Thailand you can buy meds directly at pharmacies (a wonderful convenience); in the U.S. most everything is by scrip only and cost a fortune if you don't have insurance.

What I'm looking for here is for more recent changes. For one example, about internet access options.

Edited by Jingthing

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Oh and you dont need a car! Just rent one...you can pick it up off the street...car2go....its like 50 cents a minute or something...just pull up the app and gps locate the nearest car...go on over pop in and leave the car wherever!!! Its crazy!

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